Poll results

CRO should stand for contract research organisation say readers

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Contract research organisation Clinical trial Contract research organization

Outsourcing-pharma.com readers want the acronym CRO to stand for 'contract research organisation' according to the results of a snap poll we ran yesterday.

Prompted by a debate on Linkedin​ we decided to ask readers how the industry should define CRO and whether the term “collaborative” should be considered as an alternative to reflect the closer strategic relationships many services firms have with their clients.

Here are the results:



(Thanks to all 70 readers who took part – 61% voted for contract research organisation; 21% backed clinical research organisation; and 17% per cent opted for the Collaborative Research definition.)

While the survey was only small the results do suggest the contract research sector wants to continue to be viewed as having a solid business-oriented relationship with the drug industry (some respondents on the Linkedin suggested ‘collaborative’ may favoured by scientists more focused on research than business.)


Outsourcing-pharma.com was also contacted Pharmatek Laboratories’ president Tim Scott, who is chairman of the CRO committee set up by Southern California, US-based life sciences industry group Biocom.

Scott told us that: “With regard to the CRO debate, BIOCOM established a committee group for service providers.  we called the group simply CRO. While we recognized that there are CMOs, CROs, CSOs and CDMOs, we chose the CRO moniker because it was widely recognized as life science service providers. 

That said, the committee feels pretty strongly that the acronym, CRO, most often represents the clinical research companies that provide clinical support for clinical trial management​.”

He also rejected the idea​ that terms CRO and CMO are starting to overlap, which is an idea we examined in a story earlier this year.   

Manufacturers of drug product rarely, if at all, have involvement in managing clinical trials and are happy to call themselves CMO's.  Many that are also involved in formulation development prefer the name CDMO so as to better describe their involvement in the broader development process​.” 

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